There are multiple non-profit agencies that serve families and individuals who are in need of financial help by providing them with housing assistance, grants for paying heating and energy bills, a food pantry, and referrals to government programs such as food stamps. Citizens For Citizens and Self-Help, Inc. are the two agencies that people can turn to. Find services from these agencies below, as well as other local non-profit agencies.
The fuel assistance program runs from November to April of each year, and over 10,000 people receive aid from it each and every year. The program provides grants and other direct financial assistance to both homeowners and renters.
In addition, Fuel Assistance partners closely with the Weatherization and HEART-WAP programs in Massachusetts so that people get access to all available resources. In addition, Fuel Assistance clients will also benefit from discounts on their telephone and utility bills. Over a 12-month period this can mean a big difference to a household, and save them a significant amount of money. Yet another option is the Energy Bucks program as well as the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. Click here to learn more on the Good Neighbor Fund.
Last, but not least, the Self Help community action agency continues to work closely with Citizens Energy Corporation (CEC) and their oil heat program, as well as the Distrigas program. These two programs allow for additional assistance to homeowners and clients who have expended their Fuel Assistance benefits. Learn more on how to get free heating oil from the Oil Heat program.
The Community Outreach Program, also offered by Self-Help, helps people deal with emergencies by providing counseling, assessment, limited cash grants, advocacy, direct service, information and referral to all residents of Taunton and Bristol County. Receive access to Employment and Training Programs, Housing and Rent Programs, and Utilities.
The agency also offers a program that people can use to get free tax advice, and that will also file their taxes for them for free. Both federal and state income tax returns are both prepared and electronically filed for lower income households by trained volunteers, and everything is provided free of charge. Read more on tax programs.
Contact Self-Help, Inc. at (508) 588-0447.
This is another non-profit agency that focuses on helping the people of Fall River, Taunton, Berkley, Dighton, Freetown, Lakeville, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, and Westport Massachusetts.
They also offer several programs and resources, including those that serve families who are in need of financial help by providing fuel assistance, rental assistance, a food pantry, funds for heating fuel and oil, food stamps and emergency services. They also offer several programs for seniors, as well as provide child care assistance. This organization also has offices around the area, but the main facility is in Falls River. Dial CFC at (508) 679-0041 to learn more or apply for help.
Catholic Social Services, which has a location in New Bedford and Falls River, but serve all of Bristol County, provides both emergency as well as basic needs to families and individuals who need help paying bills and who have pressing needs. Get access to free food, utility, heating and rental assistance, clothing, rent help, homelessness prevention, and as needed financial assistance for things like medicine and other types of needs. Not only is that type of aid provided, but counselors can also act as a mediator between clients and their creditors or lenders, whether those creditors are utility companies, landlords, mortgage servicers, credit card companies, etc. The counselors provide does budgeting and money management counseling, and service as debt settlement negotiators.
The churches and volunteers that are part of Catholic Charities provide other support as well. A major focus is on offering referrals and information to regional non-profit organizations that operate in the Taunton region. The organization partners with these groups to offer financial and other assistance. Call (508) 997 - 7337, or learn more Catholic Charities Bristol County.
Community Care Services (phone (508) 990 - 0972) helps people find housing, or stay in their current home or apartment. Resources provided include budgeting, financial planning individualized case management, information on government programs, medical and dental assessments and referrals.
Staff can provide linkage to resources ranging from grants for security deposits, utility bills, or rent to information on low income apartments in Bristol County. Some income qualified families may also be provided with an interest free loan for their housing needs from some of the agencies in the region, and this will be in addition to other support. Click more information Community Care Services.
Veterans in Bristol County – Government programs such as Residential Assistance to Families in Transition (dial (617) 210 – 5480) as well as Support Services for Veteran Families (phone (800) 365 – 3665) can help with a number of needs, with a focus on housing. Assistance can include grants to pay rent in an emergency, security or utility deposit help, and moving costs. Food, case management, and job training may also be coordinated.
Town Human and Emergency Services – Depending on the town in the county, they may offer fuel assistance, meals, free food from pantries, legal services, and funds for paying utility bills or rent. Some emergency programs will offer residents a loan for their bills or needs.
St. Ann's Church can help with electric or natural gas bills. Other social services and basic needs, such as food, free Christmas meals or toys, or clothing may be available from the Raynham church. (508) 823-9833.
PACE Fuel Assistance Program can help low to moderate income families, including the elderly and disabled, pay their heating and energy bills during the colder months in Bristol County. The location is in New Bedford, Massachusetts, 02740. Phone (508) 999 – 9920.
Jewish Family Services – This non-profit offers programs in portions of southern Massachusetts and Bristol County. There may be funds, or short term loans, for emergency expenses such as rent or a security deposit. Other programs for seniors include Older Adult Resources, home delivered meals, and more. Social services may be available regardless of faith. Continue.
Non-profit South Shore Housing can help address housing needs. The agency can provide everything including rent help from RAFT to transitional housing units and section 8 vouchers. Staff are on site to work with those facing eviction, the homeless, and low income in Bristol County. Read South Shore Housing.
Salvation Army of Falls River and New Bedford - Various assistance programs are offered and include free food and grocery pantries, electric, water and gas bill payment programs. When there is additional funding, the Bristol charity may also offer utility and heating bill payment assistance or rent help. There are also season services such as free thanksgiving baskets, medical bill and prescription drug expense assistance programs, as well as Christmas toys or meals. Call (508) 679 - 7900, or more on Salvation Army programs in Bristol County.
St. Vincent dePaul Society - Greater Attleboro District administers programs that include housing and rent payment assistance, help paying electric and gas bills, as well as heating fuel payment aid. The churches that are part of the Diocese can also refer low income families to many other resources, ranging from free food to clothing and more. They also offer heating bill help from the Attleboro Energy Fund. Phone number is (508) 222 - 2933, or click more information.
Volunteers from the Society are also a great place to get information on energy bill resources, as those are always under demand in Bristol County. There may be state of Massachusetts programs or private funding offered. Learn more on utility assistance programs.
The City of Taunton Massachusetts runs programs that provide one month's rent or mortgage payment. In addition, the emergency task force provides heating assistance. Call (508) 821 - 1420.
To local HUD approved agencies to contact for help dealing with a foreclosure, or for information on mortgage assistance programs include.
New Bedford Housing and Community Development - Provides housing counseling and mortgage foreclosure assistance. Phone (508) 979 - 1581
South Shore Housing Development Corporation - Mortgage foreclosure assistance, and information on Massachusetts and government mortgage programs are offered. More on mortgage programs. Call (781) 422 - 4200.
To get help reducing or eliminating medical or credit card debts, and ways to avoid a bankruptcy, call American Credit Counseling Service, Inc. at (508) 643 - 4445 or Consumer Credit Counseling Service (phone (866) 889 - 9347)
Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary runs a food pantry. (508) 993 - 1010
First Baptist Church - Raynham offers food up to twice per month from their pantry. Call (508) 823 - 9200.
There are almost 50 other food pantries around the region. Find more Bristol County Massachusetts food banks.
Brockton Neighborhood Health Center is a local Bristol County Community Health Center that is involved in providing medical, dental, tobacco treatment, and social services to primarily low-income patients without health insurance or with MassHealth, Medicare, Children's Medical Security, Neighborhood Health Plan, BMC HealthNet, Network Health. Free care is provided to patients without insurance. Call the Brockton MA clinic at (508) 559 - 6699. Find additional medical help programs.
Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, Inc. offers health care on a sliding scale. (508) 984 - 7031
HealthFirst Family Care Center, Inc. offers services at varied rates. Call (508) 679 - 8111. Among other programs they provide community clinics and prescription expense assistance.
Taunton Walk-in Health Clinic provides numerous medical services, including Weight Management, GYN services, Allergy, Premarital Blood Test, Sore Throat, School Physical, Pneumonia, Pregnancy Test, and Motor Vehicle Injury. Call (508) 822 - 2311.
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